The warm season has come. The bets are that your couch and comfy clothes beckon you to cuddle with a good book (and a drink) for winter.
Fortunately, a brigade of great new wine books is here to help pair all of the above.
There’s a definitive (and beautifully illustrated) guide to natural wines, Brian Friedman’s dive into drinking and climate change, and an Instagram guide to visually inspired cocktails. Settle down, cancel your plans, drink and keep reading.
Crushed by Brian Friedman
It doesn’t overshadow your happy hour, but climate change is increasingly (and fast) affecting what’s in our glass. In his first book, travel and wine writer Brian Friedman tours the world, delving into how a changing climate affects production at each stage.
Stories swirl around the world, from how Château Lassègue revived their vineyards after brutal hailstorms in Bordeaux (an endeavor that advisors thought foolish and impossible) to flooding England’s promising future with cold-climate grapes. Each story is informative and open-ended, filled with a captivating cast of characters and how they compete with climate change in their own ways. While it’s not a particularly positive topic, it’s pageant—as Friedman said, “This is not a book about unrelenting struggle…Over the years I’ve learned that people who choose to work in wine and spirits production are often some of the smartest. And the most resourceful in the world.”
The World of Natural Wine by Aaron Isco
Lately, the natural wine world has been plagued by misconceptions. Some of the bottles describe it in the category as just yard juice, others call it passing fad.
In his beautiful new book, Aaron Ascoff debunks any natural wine misnomer, all while telling the story of some of the world’s most thoughtful, obsessed, and innovative producers.
(Including some personal favourites: The Loire’s Alexandre Bain, Jura’s Tissot, Beaujolais’ Gang of Four, Domaine Derain’s Before and After Altaber, Vouette & Sorbee Champagne—the list goes on! So many producers you should never sleep on.)
Outside of the makers, the book is part resource, part coffee table book, packed with everything from in-depth looks at the winemaking processes to full-page photos of the faces making natural wines and the land they work on. It brilliantly ranks the beginning of a natural wine into the lush, living state it is in today. No matter how you feel about natural wine, it’s a must read.
A Twist for Jordan Hughes from The Highly Proof Preacher
You’ve probably come across pictures of the beautiful cocktail in Jordan, whether you follow his Instagram account, Tweet embedOr discover his work alongside any of the brands he’s worked with – Gray Goose, Patron, Hendricks Gin and Jack Daniels among them. (Have you heard of those?)
His new book (his first!) begins by laying out the basics – classic cocktail recipes and the slicing of a well-stocked bar – and then delves into new and classic recipes. Take a second to appreciate his self-portraits, though, as his original cocktail recipes are just as creative: Think toddler warmers, coffee drinks, and pineapples.
There’s something for everything on the pages, from easy three-ingredient drinks for beginners (or lazy people) and more complex options for those who like a challenge. Disclaimer: Reading this book will not give you Hughes’ photography skills, although it will certainly help you create photo-worthy cocktails.